For nearly five years, Sam Altman, a self-made multimillionaire and president of top Silicon Valley start-up incubator Y Combinator, had to live with his three siblings as roommates thanks to San Francisco's astronomical housing prices.
"All of my siblings were living in my house in San Francisco because they couldn't afford rent otherwise," Altman tells CNBC Make It.
The tech boom has pushed real estate costs in Silicon Valley through the roof. The median home value in San Francisco is $1,204,700 and the median rent is $4,350, according to real estate data company Zillow. In the larger Bay Area, it's $3,500. The surge is making it hard for even the most well-paid professionals to cover their expenses. Others, unable to afford the astronomical real estate prices, resort to living with untenable commutes.
But housing prices are a problem across California. The median home value in the United States is $200,400, according to Zillow. The median home value in California is $503,100. The corresponding median rent prices are $1,600 and $2,675, also according to Zillow.
Altman says he has an idea to fix this issue plaguing his state.